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Russian, 11th – 12th century, male.

Died 17 August 1114.


This artist was a monk who took his name from that of the monastery in the caves of Kiev. He painted images of the oldest saints, having learned his art from the Byzantine painters who decorated the monastery church in ...



German, 11th century, male.

Active in Salzburg.


Although this artist worked in Salzburg, his work has the Byzantine traits of the Regensburg School.


In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...



Ioanna Bitha

Middle Byzantine monastery in Greece, 10 km west of Athens on the former Sacred Way to Eleusis. It is dedicated to the Theotokos and famous for the late 11th-century mosaics in its church. According to Pausanias (Guide to Greece I.xxxvii.6) a Temple of Apollo once stood at the site. The earliest remains date to the 5th or 6th century ad and include an Early Christian basilica, uncovered to the west of the present church; the side and the east and west gates of the monastery’s fortified enclosure wall; a bath with hypocaust; the foundations of cells; and some sculptural pieces that are displayed in the monastery.

The first written reference to the monastery is in the Typikon (1048) of a Naupaktos religious fraternity (Confraternity of the Virgin Naupaktitissa), in which the abbot of Dafni heads the list of signatories. The monastery is also known from the seal of Abbot Paul (11th or 12th century; Athens, Numi. Mus.). The monastery was restored in the late 11th century when the present church was built and decorated, as was the refectory, of which only foundations survive. The opulence of this restoration suggests that the patrons were important people. The ...






Roger Stalley

Site of an early Christian monastery in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Set in a steep valley on the eastern edge of the Wicklow Mountains, the monastery owed its origin to St Kevin (d ad 618), who chose this wild, lonely spot as the site of a hermitage. A century later it had become a flourishing monastery, teeming with pilgrims and students; it retained its vitality until the end of the 12th century despite the sequence of fires, plunderings, and other disasters mentioned in the annals. The chief relics of the ancient monastery are an impressive round tower and the ruins of at least nine Romanesque or pre-Romanesque churches scattered for about 2 km along the valley. The intractable archaeological and chronological problems associated with the monuments are compounded by the restorations and rebuildings carried out by the Board of Works in 1875–9.

It is generally agreed that St Kevin’s original hermitage lay to the west, beside the upper lake; some interesting structures on the cliff side include the foundations of a ...


Susan Pinto Madigan



Susan Young

[St John Lampadistis]

Byzantine monastery in Cyprus, c. 50 km west of Nicosia. The only information concerning its foundation is that which can be gleaned from the three adjoining churches of the katholikon and their decoration. All are of different date with a narthex common to the central and southern churches. A massive, pitched, timber roof, of a type common among the Cypriot mountain churches, covers the complex.

The south church, dedicated to St Herakleidius, has a conventional cross-in-square plan, and probably dates from the 11th century. A painting, possibly of the 12th century, on the dado of the central apse, depicts two monks, possibly donors, in proskenesis; there are traces of an earlier painting beneath. A particularly interesting group of paintings (c. 1250–1300) comprises the Pantokrator, the Sacrifice of Isaac, the Entry into Jerusalem, the Raising of Lazarus, the Crucifixion, the Ascension, individual figures of Christ and the Virgin, prophets and saints. The ...


Barbara Zeitler and Susan Pinto Madigan

[Komnenian dynasty; Comnenian dynasty]

Line of Byzantine emperors and art patrons (1057–1185). The Komneni were prolific builders and commissioned numerous works in a variety of media. Alexios I Komnenos (reg 1081–1118) and Manuel I (reg 1143–80) both made additions to the Great Palace (see Istanbul §III 12.) and to the Blachernai palace at Constantinople. Literary sources speak of their decoration as elaborate and influenced by Islamic art; one building in the Great Palace was entirely designed in Seljuk style. Wall paintings and mosaics celebrating imperial exploits and conquests became particularly popular in Manuel’s reign, and are known to have adorned the walls of his palaces. Manuel’s patronage also extended to the Holy Land, where he paid for parts of the decoration of the Holy Sepulchre and, together with King Amalric of Jerusalem, financed the mosaic decoration of the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (1169).

Among the most important examples of Komnenian ecclesiastical architecture are the Monastery of Christ Pantokrator, founded by John II (...


Byzantine monastery founded c. 1090 in the Kyrenia district of Cyprus, c. 7 km north-west of Kythrea. Its katholikon, which was demolished in 1891 except for its east and north walls, was originally an inscribed octagon and had a narthex with projecting absidioles. (This arrangement was also adopted for the monastery church of Panagia Apsinthiotissa, 3.5 km north-west of Koutsoventis.) The frescoes of the parekklesion (see Cyprus §III), which lies to the north and which is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, were restored by Hawkins in 1963. The plan of the parekklesion has been described as an ‘inscribed-cross in embryo, lacking both the corner compartments and the lateral arms of the cross, but carrying a cruciform superstructure’ (Megaw). This plan did not originate in Cyprus, but it found favour there, as demonstrated by 12th-century churches of Trikomo and Lagoudera (see Lagoudera, Panagia tou Arakou). Its largely brick construction, with arcading around the central dome, also suggests influences from outside....


Barbara Zeitler, Paul Magdalino, and Susan Pinto Madigan

Line of Byzantine emperors and art patrons (867– 1056). The dynasty was founded by (1) Basil I, whose family had settled in the military and administrative zone of Macedonia; it became extinct on the death of the empress Theodora (reg 1042 and 1055–6) in 1056. The earlier Macedonian emperors from Basil I to (3) Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus took an active part in the artistic renewal that followed the end of iconoclasm, and this has given rise to the concept of a 9th- to 11th-century ‘Macedonian Renaissance’; but contemporary sources offer little evidence in support, and the military emperors of the late 10th century and the early 11th, Nikephoras Phokas (reg 963–9), John Tzimiskes (reg 969–76) and Basil II (reg 976–1025), were not active patrons of art. Moreover, the characteristics usually associated with an artistic renaissance such as creativity, progress or close study of the art of antiquity are scarcely to be found in the Macedonian period (see Walter). Such claims as have been made for a revival of Classical art (see Weitzmann) have largely been based on a small number of manuscripts and ...


John Lowden

Byzantine illuminated calendar manuscript (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. gr. 1613) of 439 pages (363×287 mm). It covers the first half of the administrative year (1 Sept–28 Feb) and contains up to eight commemorations for each day. It is presumed to be the surviving first volume of a two-volume set and, according to the dedicatory poem on p. XIII, was made for Emperor Basil II (reg 976–1025). It is organized as a picture book, with each page divided horizontally in half for a miniature and its accompanying 16-line text. The 430 miniatures alternate between the upper and lower halves of the page, and include scenes from the Life of Christ (e.g. Nativity, Baptism), as well as standing saints, numerous scenes of martyrdom, and more unusual events, such as the discovery of relics.

There are some peculiar features about the book. On 15 pages the illuminations lack any accompanying text, indicating that, contrary to normal practice, the illustrations were supplied first. Eight different names (e.g. ...


Debra Higgs Strickland

Early Christian allegorical and moralizing text about animals originally composed in Greek by an unknown author, probably during the 2nd century ad in Alexandria. The precise meaning of the name, Physiologus, is unclear, but it has been translated as ‘The Naturalist’ or ‘Natural Philosopher’. The text’s narrator discourses on the natural world, combining ancient animal myth and lore with biblical references in order to draw allegorical parallels between animal and human behaviour with references to Christ, the Devil and the Jews. For example, the hoopoe chicks’ diligent and loving care of their ageing parents is held up as an admirable example of obeying God’s commandment to ‘honour thy father and mother’. The panther, whose sweet breath attracts all animals except the dragon, is likened to the sweetness of Christ, which attracts everyone but the Devil. The unclean hyena, known to change its sex from male to female and back again, is compared to ‘the duplicitous Jews, who first worshiped the true God but were later given over to idolatry’. As testimony to its wide popularity, the Greek ...